Skip to main content

FOIA Reform Support Needed Now!

Earlier this year, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VIT) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced S. 2520, the FOIA Improvement Act. The bill has generated a lot of enthusiasm in the open government community because it puts reins on agencies' overuse of the exemption covering "pre-decisional material" by requiring that they weigh the public interest in the release of the record. The bill also strengthens the Office of Government Information Services, which was created in 2007 to help enforce the law and to help settle FOIA disputes out of court, and makes other common-sense changes to the way agencies process requests for records. Time is short, though! While the House already passed a similar bill, there are several steps the bill must go through before it can be written into law. "Read more" to find out more about the bill, and how you can help.

RSVP Now for "OGIS at Five" - September 30, 2014 Newsletter

– Brief Updates on Coalition Partners & Others (more)
– OGIS: The Past Five Years and the Future(more)


Coalition of Open Government Groups Confront President Obama On Policy that Frustrates Transparency

WASHINGTON – A coalition of 25 transparency groups and open government advocates sent a letter to President Obama today urging him to either “withdraw” or “provide guidance to agencies” on a 2009 White House Counsel memorandum that instructs all federal agencies to consult with White House attorneys on documents of interest to the Administration before releasing them.

International Right to Know Day: How Well Do You Know the US Freedom of Information Act

In advance of International Right to Know Day (September 28), we thought it would be fun to put together a quick quiz to see how much you know about the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and why it's time to pass the FOIA Improvement Act. If the embedded quiz does not launch in your browser, please take the quiz here: https://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=ODA2ODUzCL00

Join OTG, OGIS, and the Newseum Institute for "OGIS at 5" on October 31st

The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) opened its doors five years ago, with responsibilities to mediate disputes regarding Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests between requesters and federal agencies, and to provide Congress and the President with recommendations on how to improve agencies compliance with the FOIA.

At five years old, OGIS faces challenges and changes. Join OGIS, OpenTheGovernment.org and the Newseum Institute for a half-day discussion on OGIS’ past and future, beginning at 8 a.m. Oct. 31. The program is free and open to the public. Registration is required. RSVP here

Statement: New US National Action Plan Initiatives

The US will address four new openness issues as part of its 2014-2015 National Action Plan, honoring its promise to make the second Plan a “living document.” The new commitments largely build on the government’s new and existing data and technology initiatives. The government’s commitment to increase transparency in spending now includes the administration’s efforts to implement the DATA Act.

What's the Legal Basis for Strikes in Syria?

Last night, the United States began bombing targets in Syria. Whatever the policy merits of these strikes, there are crucial unanswered questions about their legal justification.

Time to Open Up Party Conference and Caucus Rules

Twenty-five groups dedicated to openness and accountability asked the leaders of Congressional party caucuses and conferences to post their rules online. Public access to these rules would provide essential information about how Congress governs—how legislation leaves chambers, who may lead committees, and more.

Partners Share Input on Privacy Board’s Agenda

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) invited the public to submit comments on its future research agenda. OpenTheGovernment.org and several partners submitted comments.

Join the Celebration of Global Legislative Openness Week

From September 15th to 25th, civil society groups and governments will kick start an international dialogue on open parliamentary practices. GLOW is organized by the Legislative Openness Working Group of the Open Government Partnership.

The Classified Section

Check out our new blog, The Classified Section, for analysis of national security secrecy.

Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes